Friday, May 29, 2009

Our Nature and Frame

A very helpful post from Dr. Piper:

In the Religious Affections Jonathan Edwards ventures this explanation of why there is song and poetry.

"And the duty of singing praises to God, seems to be appointed wholly to excite and express religious affections. No other reason can be assigned, why we should express ourselves to God in verse, rather than in prose, and do it with music, but only, that such is our nature and frame, that these things have a tendency to move our affections."

For this to have the weight it does for Edwards we need to remember that 1) “true religion consists very much in the affections,” and 2) there is no true Christian faith without the affections being awakened, and 3) God is most glorified when he is affecting us and not just known by us.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A giant leap for mankind

On the Resurrection, a thought from Dr. Sinclair Ferguson:

In that he mentioned that he is old enough to remember the famous words, he had another thought on their application. Dr. Ferguson was referring to what is implicated by the resurrection from our justification to the hope of our own resurrection bodies.

"That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind. I don't think [Neil Armstrong] was the first one ever to say these words. I think Jesus probably thought them as he stepped out of the tomb and said, 'That's one small step for the King and a giant step for all the citizens of his Kingdom."

Listen to the whole message here: Christ's Resurrection.

Thanks again to Stephen for the great link.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ralph D. Winter [1925-2009]

I had read of the change in the missional perspective in the 70's from unreached "fields" to unreached "peoples", but I didn't know about the man whom the Lord used to bring it about. I also didn't know the impact he, Dr. Winter, had on one of my heroes in the faith, John Piper. Jesus called him home on May 20th. Here's what Pastor John had to say on his blog about this man of God:

At 9:05 PM, May 20, 2009 Ralph Winter, the founder of the U. S. Center for World Missions died.

Nobody in the area of missions had a greater impact on me. Others had a greater impact on me in the area of missions, like Jonathan Edwards, but no one actually in missions affected me more than Ralph Winter.

First, he was a professor of mine at Fuller Seminary and introduced me to the stunning works of God in missions in the last two hundred years. His vision of the advance of the gospel was breathtaking.

He wore a bow tie in those days, iconoclast that he was, and was fined by the seminary for not returning our papers on time. None of us begrudged him his scattered approach to life. It was thrilling in those days.

Second, in 1974 at the Lausanne Missions Congress Winter reached up and pulled the unseen rope called “unreached peoples” that rang a bell that reverberates to this day.

This concept, and the subsequent emphasis on unreached peoples (as opposed to unreached “fields”) has been globally seismic in the transformation of missions. It gripped me and shaped all we have done in missions at Bethlehem ever since the mid 1980s.

Third, in the 1980s he bought a 15 million dollar college campus with virtually nothing in his hand to start the U. S. Center for World Missions; and he paid for it by persuading enough of us (thousands) to give “the last thousand.” Brilliant! I think I sent $2,000. Couldn’t resist the vision.

The point of the U. S. Center was to trumpet the vision that there are unreached peoples in the world, and then equip the church to reach them.

Fourth, Ralph Winter was probably the most creative thinker I have ever known. I mean, on any topic that you brought up, he would come at it in a way you have never dreamed of. He saw all things in relationship to other things that you would never think of relating them to.

This meant that stalemates often became fresh starting points. If you were struggling with a tension in your church, he might say: “Well, think about the Navy.” Or if you were having a marriage problem, he might say, “Did you notice how that bridge was built?”

Fifth, Ralph Winter befriended me. He encouraged me. In my most restless early days, he would tell me to stay at Bethlehem because I could do more by sending than by going.

Finally, he did not waste his life, not even the last hours of it. He was busy dictating into the last days. He taught me long ago that the concept of “retirement” was not in the Bible.

What a gift he was to the church. To the world. Thank you, Father, for the legacy of this visionary, risk-taking, creative, encouraging lover of unreached peoples who lived unstoppably for the glory of God.

Here's a great word from Dr. Winter that would be vital for all my friends going to Guatemala in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

why is new birth so necessary?

From Tim Challies' blog as he's blogging the reFocus Conference:

[John] Piper offered ten biblical descriptions of man apart from the new birth, ten reasons we need to be born again. As bad as the news is, it’s glorious to get it right because there is a glorious remedy. When we properly understand our own badness, we see Christ more gloriously.

Apart from the new birth we are dead
Apart from the new birth we are by nature children of wrath
Apart from the new birth we love darkness and hate light
Apart from the new birth we have hearts that are hard like stone
Apart from the new birth we are unable to submit to God
Apart from the new birth we are unable to except the gospel
Apart from the new birth we are unable to come to Christ or embrace him as Lord
Apart from the new birth we are slaves to sin
Apart from the new birth we are slaves of Satan
Apart from the new birth no good thing dwells in me

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Word from Dr. Ferguson

Sinclair Ferguson on acceptable speach.

You're welcome.

Thanks to Stephen for the link.

Copy of a Copy

No, this post is not about the NIV.

Its about guitars, which in the grand scheme of things are fairly unimportant. But sometimes, it's the little things:

The bottom guitar is a Fender Custom Shop One-off for John Mayer. It's become his #1 go-to guitar. The above is the production line reproduction of his reproduction.

Pretty cool.

This is why I have 3.234 people read my blog per year, huh?

The sacrifices I make...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bad Hair, Good Theology

Dr. Sproul explaining imputed righteousness:

I've never really thought about it this way before. Innocence and righteousness bifurcated and correlated for God's glory.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Old Love and Badge in Hyde Park

Just so I know you know what's up.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


And people say I have too many pedals...

If you can do this, please contact Jesse Schlicher @ There is currently an opening for DJ in the band.